Student fencer earns call-up for international competitions

Wednesday 7 December 2022


St Catharine’s was pleased to report this time last year that the College’s sports bursaries were supporting the fencing career of Dan Twine. Now a third-year Natural Sciences undergraduate, Dan is ranked ninth in the UK senior men’s sabre category and has earned a call-up to represent Great Britain in international competitions.

Dan has jumped 13 places in the national ranking in the space of a year and now consistently performs at the top of his sport in the UK. Highlights from his recent competitions include:

  • First out of 25 at the RAF Open on 8–9 October
  • Ninth out of 37 at the Academy Sabre Open on 9 October
  • Second out of 63 at the Hamlet Open on 29 October
  • Sixth in the British U23 Sabre Championships on 6 November
  • Fifth out of 56 at the Welsh Open on 12 November

He has also been busy competing at satellite events organised by the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), fencing’s international governing body. There were two recent international events in Sofia, Bulgaria and Ghent, Belgium, with Dan securing a top 32 finish in Sofia.

Dan Twine in fencing kit
Photo credits: Keith Heppell, Cambridge Independent
Two fencers fencing

Looking ahead, British Fencing has picked Dan to be one of twelve fencers representing the country at a Grand Prix in Orléans, France, in early December. He is also hoping to be able to join the national team going to a second Grand Prix in January in Tunis, Tunisia, and the FIE World Cup in Budapest, Hungary, in March.

Dan explains the importance of the financial assistance available to him at St Catharine’s:

“The College’s sports bursaries and the Master’s Fund have enabled me to travel to international competitions – including the upcoming Grand Prix in Orléans – and covered some of my equipment costs. My entrance bursary also means that I can afford to live without sacrificing too much training time throughout the year.”

 For members of the St Catharine’s community who would be interested in getting involved in fencing, Dan has some words of encouragement:

“Cambridge is a very good place to get involved in fencing. For kids, there’s Cambridge Sword, and for older teenagers and adults there is a very welcoming city club called Cambridgeshire Fencing Club, which trains at Netherhall School on Thursday evenings. The Cambridge University Fencing Club (CUFC) runs a total-beginners course for adults, which is open to students and non-students alike. Joining CUFC also opens access to social events and extra lessons.

“Generally, joining a club recreationally is very easy and affordable because most of them have all of the training-level kit you need available to borrow and the membership price is comparable to a gym membership. To become more competitive, you need individual lessons which are usually comparable in cost to something like music lessons.”

Media interest

Cambridge Independent